äMMä (1992)

This performance in the Old Student House Gallery examined how women are culturally construtured and presented. The act of being looked at, the ancient text of Elektra, variations and citations of the film Some Like it Hot as well as (gender) undressing, dressing and posing, all bases of the performance, highlighted e.g. the nudity in the show. The audience could move around in a rectangular space delineated by transparent curtains, in which the performers were. A point where female performers in the act of undressing told spectators, standing 20-50 centimetres away, of their sensations and observations while taking their clothes off garnered strong reactions and an exceptional post-performance conversation — at the time when the function of nudity in performances was rather different than today.


In Helsinki, in the Old Students’ House Gallery 25.11.1992, at Moving in November dance festival.

Working group

  • Concept, text:
    ​Tuija Kokkonen
  • Performers:
    Markku Arokanto
    Marja Silde
    Mervi Varja
  • Light design:
    Jukka Kyllönen
  • Light control:
    Keijo Kaakinen


Working group in collaboration with the Cultural Centre of the Old Students’ House

Supported by:

  • Helsinki City Cultural Office

Texts on performance


  • Hanna-Leena Helavuori: "Pitää itseään näytteillä julkisesti maksua vastaan. Nainen roolina näyttämöllä.” in Kurtisaaneista kunnian naisiin. Näkökulmia Huora-akatemiasta, Ed. Taava Koskinen. Helsinki: University Press 1998.

Other texts

  • Hanna-Leena Helavuori: ”äMMä — esittämisen laboratoriossa.” Theatre Journal 1/1993.
  • Kokkonen: "Sementtimyllyn teknologia.” Theatre Journal 3/1992.